"Really?" They asked in unison and looked at him at the same time.
"Mom is single." Jiselle reminded him. "Probably not looking ..."
"She could be." Lucky challenged her.
"She's probably tired, Luck."
"But later ..." Lucky went on and the bickering started again.
"Your mom doesn't want me. I wouldn't want me. She's doing better without me in her life." Maddox had convinced himself.
"Better? Being married was hell for her. She won't admit it to us," Lucky told him.
"It's true," Jiselle tapped her chin, "and if you really think about things ... Antonio was the rebound guy. A rebound thing NEVER works out."
"yea, well if something ever happens it does and of it doesn't, it is what it is."
Jiselle sighed overly loud, then plopped a hand on his shoulder, "wrong attitude to have, daddy!" Then took a sip of her drink with her free hand.
He laughed, "it'll have to be after this tour. This is going on for a year and a half."
"What a bunch of crap!" She huffed.
"uh... Excuse me?" He was surprised by Jiselle.
"I'm talking about right now! A grand romantic gesture like Dante did for me," she smiled.
Lucky almost spit out his drink, "which one? He proposed 3 times before you said yes."
"Oh shut up."
"You need to relax, Elle... You're mom made it very clear to me that she couldn't be with a man as busy as me."
"As long as you love her, then ..."
"Elle ..." Lucky stopped her, "let it go.
“I don’t know … We’ll see.”
"This is why men don't get the woman they want. They give up too easily. Mommy told me that if i'm really worth it to him, he won't give up ... Dante didn't."
"who said i was giving up? What you have to understand is that, i want to give your mom everything she wants and needs, not just the grand gesture, but me being there as much as I possibly can. I want to be her everything."
Jiselle gasped and tears formed in her eyes, "oh my God ..."
"Here we go," Lucky looked at her as she started to sniffle.
"oh my good what?"
"It's so beautiful! You still love her ..."
He shook his head, "you are definitely your mothers Child."
"I've had to deal with this my whole life," Lucky sighed.
| Months Later |
Genevieve received a bronze medal in the 400 meters at the Olympics. Pretty good for a first timer and only 16 years old. Janine was more than thankful she was there to see it. She arrived in London only a day before Gigi was set to race. She got to see her semifinal heats and the final and cheered as loud as any mother could despite obviously not being well enough to be there yet. Once back home, she took the necessary rest ... Or as much as she could with Gigi asking her if she was alright. The girl had a heart of gold and nothing would change that. The rest of the family had gone back to their lives while keeping a watch and Janine went back to painting. Normalcy felt good.
Cold as hell out but still a pretty day, Janine left the house in search of lunch. She took a window seat at a Puerto Rican restaurant and looked at the menu. Every now and then she'd glance at her reflection in the window. Her short hair was still a bother to her and she never knew what to do with it so she kept it straight to frame her head. The bangs were a little long in the front with a slight ducktail in the back gave it some shape. The family thought it looked nice but they always thought she looked nice. They couldn't be trusted with this.
No sooner than she could look back down at the menu, someone touched her back, then stopped in front of her, "I knew it was you!"
“Jerry?!” Janine stood and smiled, “no way …”
“I heard you had cancer …” He hugged her, then sat down in the empty seat in front of her.
“I did. Beat it … Don’t know how but I did. Had to have a double lung transplant.”
“Wow! I’m glad to see you came through,” he smiled. “How is the basketball team?”
“Good. Still hovering like I’m dying but really good. How are you? Where have you been?”
“I mostly live in Vegas. I own a couple of cabarets and a casino.”
“Cabaret’s?” Janine lifted an eyebrow and smirked.
Jeremiah laughed, “yea … Yea … But I’m in NY a lot. I have a place here.”
“Can’t believe I hadn't run into you before now.”
“Yea …” Jeremiah just stared at her and smiled, “me either.” Jeremiah realized that they were both in their 40’s and single. Maddox was like a brother to him but it had been 25 years since all the mess in high school happened. So would he care if tried to get close to Janine? At that moment, he didn't care. He watched Janine and listened to her as she went over a few details about her art work, kids and future plans for herself, then cut in, “before I forget … Give me your number. I want to see the troop.”
“Oh sure!” Janine dug her phone out and handed it to him.
Jeremiah worked with it, then handed it back. The waiter approached to take their orders and Jeremiah enjoyed Janine’s company … Planning their next encounter that he would hope would be a date.